After months of planning the 42nd Annual Santa Barbara Earth Day, the big ol’ eco party sits waiting for us this weekend. Through the haze of minutiae, the endless check-lists and the faith that uncontrollable factors won’t change the course of the festival, I try to spend a little brain power thinking of where we, as a society, are ‘at’ on sustainability.
Nationally, the dysfunction of Congress and the last gasp efforts of the fossil fuel stooges to live off dinosaur remnants has moved from pathetic to infuriating. But, there are many ‘solar’ linings.
“Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race,” a report by Pew Charitable Trust, was just released, pointing to some promising developments. First, the United States ‘continues to lead the world in both venture capital and research and development investment’ (though we lag far behind in deploying these renewable energy assets). Secondly, G-20 nation investments in solar are exploding, with a 42% increase over 2010 to $148 billion. Finally, a record 83.5 Megawatt’s of clean energy generating capacity came online in 2011. Read the report here.
There is plenty in this report for the naysayers as well, but at least we know that there is plenty of positive movement. Locally, we have a wealth of options to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels neatly placed on display this weekend in Santa Barbara’s Alameda Park.
We should be proud that we HAVE choices right now. Choices to live better, to live more lightly on the earth, to eat locally, and to surround ourselves with goodness on a daily basis. Let’s start by giving thanks that we have these choices at all. Give thanks that we have come so far. Now, take ACTION to make sure these choices are taken advantage of…for everyone and everything’s sake.
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